cover image Old Anger

Old Anger

Phillip Thompson. Brash, $18.99 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-7343480-7-1

In Thompson’s well-wrought third crime novel featuring Mississippi sheriff Colt Harper (after 2016’s Outside the Law), Colt has a murder to solve after the body of Lucius Wallace, a Black man who worked at a local catfish farm, is unearthed in a gravel pit, and the subsequent autopsy confirms the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. Wallace’s widow last saw her spouse the previous day and tells the sheriff that Lucius was planning to spend the evening at a prayer meeting with Rev. Mike Sanders. When Colt follows up that lead, he learns that Mike, who’s familiar with firearms, may be a promising suspect, as Lucius once had an affair with Mike’s wife. But Colt must consider a more complicated theory after he hears rumors that a group of white men were “looking to do the kinds of things the Klan did years ago.” Tensions increase when another Black man is gunned down, and Colt finds further reason to believe that white supremacists are organizing in his jurisdiction. Thoughtful prose is matched by solid characterizations. Thompson delivers a timely tale of racial violence. (Dec.)